Choosing what equipment and clothing to take on a Everest Base Camp trek isn’t particularly easy. You will be in the mountains for a least two weeks and the temperatures can vary widely. It can be swelteringly hot, it might snow, rain is likely, you are limited by weight and you won’t be able to [...]
I have just returned from my second visit to the Norwegian ice climbing venue in Rjukan. Equipment on such trips is of course massively important and it all needs to cope with a variety of cold, wintery, icy conditions – uphill walk-ins, belaying, abseiling and of course the ice climbing itself. So here is my list [...]
What do you do when you have climbed the hardest offwidth in the world and one of the world’s hardest trad routes with pre-placed protection? What’s next? The obvious choice is to return and lead the route again placing all the gear as you go. Start at the beginning, rack up and go. And [...]
It’s felt a little quiet the last couple of weeks. The euphoria surrounding the first ascent of ‘Century Crack’ had worn off and the pace of ascents seemed to have slowed. However on reflection plenty has been going on and hard routes have been sent. Under the wise leadership of Rob Pizem we were led [...]
You are on a rock climbing tour of America’s hardest offwidths. You arrive in Indian Creek. What is the one route you are going to get on first? The answer is obvious, it has to be ‘Belly Full Of Bad Berries’. First climbed by Brad Jackson and immortalised by Simon Carters photos in Rock and [...]
The ramage continues. Our next stop was Zion and after a late start we found our selves under Pamela Shanti Pack’s offwidth ‘Gabriel’. This was until a week ago, and Tom and Pete’s ascent of ‘Century Crack’, considered America’s hardest offwidth. Pete spent a little while practising the moves before quickly sending the route [...]
Hiding shyly under the Canyonlands White Rim in Utah is possibly the longest roof crack in the world. Discovered by desert legend Steve ‘Crusher’ Bartlett, while prospecting for desert towers, Crusher returned and aid soloed the line in 2001 and named it ‘Chocolate Starfish’. Next came Stevie Haston, who gallantly attempted to free the enormous [...]
We arrived in Moab yesterday and this morning met up with Steve ‘Crusher’ Bartlett, author of the astounding and outstanding book Desert Towers. Crusher is going to be our guide in Canyonlands for the next few days.
Its amazing what two days rest and a shower can do. After moving down to Salt Lake City for a wash and to pick up the RV, a quick visit to Trench Warfare resulted in two flashes, an extension and a solo. Tom kicked off with a smooth flash, looking calm and relaxed throughout. After [...]
We had the great privilege this morning of spending a couple of hours drinking coffee with Vedauwoo legend Bob Scarpelli. It’s been a successful couple of weeks at Vedauwoo for Tom and Pete with all of their primary objectives ticked. We now head south to Utah. Vedauwoo said goodbye in fine [...]
We have been in Vedauwoo just over a week now. We have settled into a routine of getting up when the sun hits the tent, shivering through breakfast and then going climbing (or spending two hours lost in some Aspen woodland). At the bottom of the route Tom and Pete undergo their hand taping rituals [...]
Just three pics today, more tomorrow.
The rain stopped and Tom and Pete have wasted no time in getting stuck into some hideous fissures. Pete began with what may be the first onsight of ‘Squat’ 5.12b. On Monday morning they both sent ‘Spacial Relations’ 5.13a, possibly the hardest offwidth route at Vedauwoo. ‘Worm Drive’ 5.11b followed in the afternoon. On Tuesday [...]
The team at Vertebrate Graphics have made a fantastic promotional banner to help promote our USA Wide Boyz road trip.
We made it Vedauwoo. Here’s a quick taster of some of the bouldering that was squeezed in between the rain. The weather has improved now and Tom and Pete are getting ready to crush. More news to follow soon.
Two years ago on the Greek island of Kalymnos a fiendish plan was devised. Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker, while happily clipping bolts on a sun kissed sports climbing paradise, decided to climb the worlds hardest wide cracks. These wider fissures are described as offwidth and demand a brutal technique. If sports climbing is two [...]
Off-width master Tom Randall demonstrating immaculate technique on the gritstone boulders at Burbage South in the Peak District National Park
I use Canon cameras for the majority of my photography. I have stayed loyal to Canon from my first AE1 through to a EOS 3. I joined the digital photography revolution with a Canon 20D, and a Canon Powershot G9. Now I’m using the fantastic Powershot G11 and a Canon 5D and 7D SLR’s. I have [...]